Subic Bay Philippines 2011 Letter from Phil Beckwith 

The photos on the next pages were taken by me on the 17th of Sept 2011. It had been 50-51 years since my tour there. The new expressway from Manila to Clark to Subic is built to our standards but under constant maintenance. The speed limit was 100KMPH and strictly enforced. I left the Freeway at San Fernando and got back on about 12 miles out of Subic. The old road is still a mess and a lot of fun to drive. The Military run check point is gone.  The historical markers from the Death March are still there and being maintained pretty good. The drive out from Manila took about 2 hours and driving in the PI is an experience since just about anything and everything is on the highways.

 Upon arrival at the main gate to Nav Mag I stopped outside the gate to take a photo but it was raining so hard I could not get out to take one. I went out to Subic on the next to last day of a typhoon. When the guards, 2 male and one female learned I was there 50 years ago I was more or less given the run of the place with no escort. They must of asked me 50 questions about Nav Mag and I could not answer many of them.  It has been 19 years since we gave everything back, 19 years of apparent neglect.

 The jungle is coming back with banana trees, vines and coconut trees lining the roads.  No Rock Apes/Monkeys seen nor did i see any snakes. The magazines I observed are open to the weather and a few were converted to homes. The metal doors were missing apparently removed, stolen {?} and sold as scrap. NO electricity or water to them tho. A large animal zoo {appears to be abandoned} has been built out towards the Ammo Pier along with a resort at the pier.  

The road to Morong is now open and the road thru Nav Mag is called the Corregidor highway. I was going to return to Manila on this route but the weather was just too bad.

I stayed two weeks in the PI, 3 days in Manila and 10 down on Mindanao and one more in Manila before leaving . Had typhoons on both ends of the trip. When leaving the typhoon that hit flooded Manila, damage to the US Embassy and there was a 34 inch rain fall in a 24 hour period. The most ever recorded by the local weather bureau. . Four feet of water on the main drag next to Manila bay.

 

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